How to Make Your New Year’s Health Resolutions Stick

Happy 2016! I can’t believe a new year is upon us once again already! This year has been a huge one for me with lots of ups, downs and in-betweens. I started and completed my dietetic internship, built up this blog, traveled with my best friends, started my masters project, attended my first ever FNCE annnnnnd just recently pasted my certification exam to officially become a registered dietitian! I see 2016 as being even bigger and better for me as I start applying for jobs, finish up my master’s degree and graduate. Who knows where I’ll be at the start of 2017?!

I don’t quite believe in the whole new years resolution hype, because I think anytime is a good time to make a positive change. However, the start of a new year brings the feeling of a clean slate, so it is a good time to reflect and decide on what changes you want to make to promote a healthier, happier life. Unfortunately, many people start but do not follow through with their health resolutions. The plethora of diet commercials and weight-loss programs that come out this time of year doesn’t help. Here are my top tips for achieving practical, lasting and healthy lifestyle changes to reach those goals.

1.) Be ready for the change

A lot of time’s people think they are ready to lose weight, start exercising, eat healthier, etc. but when it comes down to it, they like the idea of the end result, not the work that inevitably goes a lot with it. Recognize that changes don’t happen overnight; it is a gradual, sometimes rocky process. If you’re willing to accept that and put in the hard work, you’re ready.

2.) Set realistic goals

The TOP MISTAKE people make is setting the bar too high from the get-go. It may sound good to say “I will go to the gym 7 days a week” or “I will lose 5 pounds a week” but is that really attainable? It’s better to start with small goals that set you up for success, rather than large ones that will only leave you disappointed. You can always build on them as you go, but start little, you’r more likely to achieve them and continue on.

3.) Don’t be “all or nothing”

Big mistake number two, pressuring yourself to be perfect. Say your friend’s resolution was to workout 5 times a week, but he/she had a really stressful week at work with long hours and could only exercise two times. Would you tell them they are a failure? Of course not! You would tell them how awesome it was they made it even those two times and would remind them that next week they can get back on track. Remind yourself of this whenever you are putting yourself down for not meeting your goals completely every single time. No one is perfect, and there will be bumps a long the way. The key is to get past them, learn from them, and move on!

4.) Modify as needed

Resolutions are great because they give you a tangible goal to work towards, however, they are not set in stone and should be modified along the way. Maybe you did set the bar too high and need to tone it down a bit, or maybe it was set too low and you need to bump it up a bit to achieve success. Whatever, the case may be, be flexible to set yourself up for the highest level of success.

5.) Prepare to make it happen

Don’t go in blind. Figure out what you need to do to make the change happen and DO IT. Research gyms in your area and visit to see which one is the best fit for you, throw out the leftover cookies and cake and restock with healthy snacks, meal prep so you have healthy dishes ready, go buy weights so you can actually use those at-home workout DVD’s. This will promote lasting habits, not just short-term ones you keep for a bit then can’t sustain.

Here’s to a fantabulous year!!!

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